Thomas William Parks
Ithaca - On Thursday December 24, 2020 Thomas (Tom) W. Parks of Ithaca, NY passed away at the age of 81. He was born March 16, 1939 in Buffalo, NY son of Mildred W. and William K. Parks. He received the M.E.E. ('61), M.S. ('64) and Ph.D. ('67) degrees from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He was a professor in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University in Houston,TX from 1967-1986 and Cornell University from 1986 - 2008. He authored over 100 books and research papers in digital signal processing over the course of his career and received several notable awards for his work. He was a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a recipient of the prestigious IEEE Jack S. Kilby Gold Medal for his work on interpolation and the 'Parks-McClellan algorithm'. He was also awarded the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Humboldt Foundation Senior Scientist Award, and a Senior Fulbright Fellowship. He also received the Rice University President's Award and two awards for teaching excellence while at Cornell. He was honored to be elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2010.
After his retirement, he enjoyed spending time with family and pursuing his many hobbies. He was an avid model airplane enthusiast and built and flew radio controlled planes with the Ithaca Radio Control Society. He was also a licensed ham radio operator. He made wine with local grapes each year with his family. He was a skilled potter and all family members continue to enjoy their morning coffee with one of Tom's mugs. He loved recreational boating from his home on Cayuga Lake windsurfing,kayaking and sailing.
He is survived by his beloved wife Martha B. Parks, sister Carol E Parks, three children and their spouses Thomas M. Parks (Beth), Alice Parks Sartain (Keith) and Susan E. Parks (Chris Junium) and seven grandchildren: William, Emily, Elizabeth, Sophie Sartain; Rachel and Ben Parks; and Charlie Junium
Funeral arrangements will be private.
Published in Ithaca Journal from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, 2021.